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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 13:40 GMT
Bomb attacks hit Baghdad market
Police inspect the damage caused by the two bombs
The market has been the target of attacks in the past
At least seven people have been killed and 20 injured in twin bombings in a market in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Three people were killed by the first explosion outside a CD shop in the Bab al-Sharqi area, police said.

A second bomb exploded 10 minutes later, killing three civilians and a policeman standing in a crowd nearby.

The US military also announced that four US marines were killed in two separate roadside bombings in western Iraq in the past two days.

A marine from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit died from the wounds he sustained in Anbar Province on Sunday.

And on Monday, three marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit were killed by a bomb in Hit.

Market blasts

The bombs in the market exploded as Iraqi Shias gathered there to buy CDs and videos ahead of the major religious festival of Ashura, which commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

One witness, who was selling leather jackets nearby, said the first bomb had exploded near a crowd of people watching a film about Hussein.

Map showing Baghdad

"I was standing near the vendor who was targeted. He had a television set showing a film on the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and then the explosion happened," Ali Abd al-Muhsin Karim told the Associated Press.

"I saw two people dead and ran and hid in one of the stores. Then the other explosion happened."

Police Capt Mohammed Abd al-Ghani said the second bomb had targeted policemen arriving at the scene of the first blast.

One policeman was killed in the second attack, he said.

The Bab al-Sharqi area, near Tahrir Square, has been the scene of many suicide bomb attacks in the past.

In other violence, gunmen shot the head of Falluja city council, Kamil Nazzal al-Alusi. He died later of his wounds in hospital.

Mr Alusi was also the imam of the main mosque in the central Iraqi city, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad.

Two men have been arrested in connection with his murder.


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